Dakar from Africa's gay capital to centre of homophobia

Published: June 11, 2010

Dakar from Africa’s gay capital to centre of homophobia

In colonial times, Senegal’s metropolis Dakar was famous for its open and tolerated homosexual prostitution market, and as late as in the 1970s, as many as 17 percent of Senegalese men admitted having had homosexual experiences. Now, Dakar is West Africa’s centre of gay oppression.

The government of Senegal has made it clear that homosexuality is un-African. Since 1965, same-sex activity has been punishable by up to five years imprisonment, but only during the last five years, Dakar’s former visible gay community has had to go underground, risking punishment.

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